I spent a few hours at Quicken Loans Arena yesterday working on a few stories, some of which you'll be seeing in the paper and online this week leading up to training camp. Most of the players have been working out for a week or more. Larry Hughes was on the court working on his jumper and he seemed to be in good shape. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao were working together. Sasha Pavlovic was there, he's put in a lot of work in Cleveland over the summer. Luke Jackson is working his way back into shape after last spring's back surgery. I've also seen Donyell Marshall and Eric Snow working out along with the rookies (Shannon Brown and Daniel Gibson) plus some of the free agents who will be in training camp.
I got a tour of the re-designed front offices, which I am told Dan Gilbert spent $3 million on. The old offices were very nice and all, but Gilbert said he felt it was too much like a law office so he re-did them. Basicly, he took all the bosses who had large offices along the windows and moved them to smaller offices in the interior of the building. Then he ripped down all the walls and put the majority of the employees into desks with natural light coming from the windows. There are lots of flat screen tvs everywhere and lots of sleek conference rooms done in a basketball theme. There's even a spiral staircase with lighted glass steps that will change colors. There are lots of murals on the walls featuring teamwork themes and, as a special touch, basketball hoops on walls throughout the building. Damon Jones will be glad to find out there's a huge picture of him getting piled on after he made the shot to beat the Wizards in last season's playoffs.
Downstairs the Cavs have a brand new floor (pictured, click on it for a full-size view), which is supposed to not be as reflective. Fans watching on TV complained about the new LCD boards causing moving reflections on the floor during the game. I think for the third consecutive year, the lounge for players' families and friends is being totally remodeled. Also, they've put in new underground suites that don't even have a view of the court and are under the stands. To make room, the media was booted from its long-standing courtside seats and from its media room (they gave us a much smaller one with no bathroom). Sort of tells you what the Cavs think about us, eh? They don't need us as much when things are going well.
Just wanted to give you an update. Look for a story tomorrow on Anderson Varejao and one this weekend on Shannon Brown, who allowed Beacon Journal columnist Tom Reed to hang out with him and his family earlier this summer at his house near Chicago and at his old high school.